8e USPE Championnats Européen de Police de Marathon,
7e - 10e octobre 2022, Eindhoven/Pays-Bas
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Taking part, along with the host country of the Netherlands, we had Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. There were many opinions on who the pre-race favourites were in the men and women’s races… pointing to the possibility of some interesting battles out on the roads of Eindhoven.
As the athletes passed thorugh the first main marker at 5km, it was clear that Mario Bauernfeind from Austria was beginning to set the pace in the men’s race. In the women’s race, Fabienne Vonlanthen from Switzerland was the early pace-setter. The intrigue for the waiting delegates, attendants and supporters back at Police HQ was also unfolding as they watched on TV, and tried to follow their athletes on the tracking application on their mobile phone. Spectators could also see their athletes at various points in and around Eindhoven within short walking distances during the course of the race. This offered them a brief moment from time to time to shout some words of encouragment at the runners. The sight of the colourful international vests from of all USPE athletes added a special dimension to the overall mass participation marathon which had approximately 3,000 runners.
At the halfway point, the temperature had now increased to about 12C, and the two Austrian runners, Mario Bauernfeind and Markus Hartinger were battling it out, neck to neck at the top of the USPE field. In the women’s race, Vonlanthen from Switzerland, had stretched her lead to almost 3 and a half minutes. The men’s team event, at this point was showing some strong scoring from Austria, France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland; and from Norway, Germany, UK, Denmark and Spain in the women’s race. The winning men’s team would need the best cumultative time from their first four male athletes home in order to be crowned USPE Men’s team champions. Scoring in the women’s team competition would be comprised of the cumulative times from the 3 best female athletes.
As the second half of the marathon developed, the leading man, with 5km to go, was still Bauernfeind from Austria. He was followed by Hartinger from Austria, Bräutigam from Germany, and Carvalho from France, who was now making great progress and beginning to look like he might pull back some positions. In the women’s race, it was obvious, unless an unforeseen problem occurred, that Vonlanthen from Switzerland would be victorious. Her lead at this point had now stretched to roughly five and a half minutes. Carina Fierek from Germany was running in a commanding second position at this point also.
In the end, the men’s winner was Bauernfeind from Austria in a fantastic gun time of 2:15:34. Second place went to Carvalho from France; and the bronze went to Bräutigam from Germany. In the women’s race, the honour of first place went to Vonlanthen from Switzerland. She finished in an excellent winning gun time of 2:41:36. Carina Fierek and Stephanie Breitkreutz from Germany finished second and third respectively.
With the individual winners now known, attention turned to the team events and to finishing times of the remaining athletes from all the participating countries. It was now a case of calculators at the ready! In the women’s team results it was Germany who were the victors, with the top 3 German women of Fierek, Breitkreutz, and Maja Seidel, finishing in a cumulative finishing time of 8:43:09. Second place went to Norway [Vilde Moser, Therese Dahl Arvik, Thea Haug] with 9:07:04. Third place went to the U.K. [Tara Malone, Lindsey Dixon, Kelly Morgan] with a combined finishing time of 9:08:45. In the men’s teams; France were the winners, with top 4 men of Carvalho, Eric Zimmermann, Thierry Mathissart and Adrien Szuscik finishing in a cumulative finishing time of 9:40:14. Second place went to Austria [Bauernfeind, Hartinger, Christian Nagele, Philipp Barbi] with a time of 9:40:38; and third place went to Germany [Bräutigam, Andreas Keil, Fabian Fiedler, Andreas Hecht] with a time of 9:53:14.
This was a very high standard race, with quality racing and performances throughout the field of athletes. Most importantly, it was sportsmanship and comradeship amongst all Police athletes over the marathon weekend that shone through, crowning off a wonderful USPE event.
Thank you to everyone at NPSB; the Eindhoven Marathon race organiser themselves, and to all the people behind the scenes who made this a truly wonderful European Police Championships. Special final thanks go to Jacqueline Rustidge and Michel Hagenbeek for their committed work on this successful event.
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